Kodiak, Alaska - Fort Tidball - Long Island - Womens Bay
Pink Elephant Mystery
Do you know of any possible connection between that and the "Pink Elephants" of the 404th?
If you know of any connection, please write to Dave or myself.
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 11:34:51 -0800
From: Kodiak State Parks email@example.com
Block address To: william@EUBANK-WEB.com
Subject: 404th Bomb Group
Hello--Enjoyed seeing the page about your father in WWII. I'm with Alaska State Parks on Kodiak Island. On the inside of one of the quonset huts on Long Island (site of a 6" gun coastal battery--Fort Tidball) is a very elaborate painting of a pink elephant. Do you know of any possible connection between that and the "Pink Elephants" of the 404th? Didn't seem likely, but I thought I ought to check it out!
Thanks much Dave Evans, Naturalist, Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park
William Eubank wrote:
June 24, 2000
Right now I can't remember the exact story Father used to tell but it had to do with the fact that most of the fellows that ended up in Alaska had been told that they were being prepared to go fight in North Africa - I guess they were told that for security reasons - they were even issued tropical equiptment.
I guess when they realized where they were going to Alaska some wag said something to the effect that the only elephants they were likely to see in Alaska were pink elephants - probably as the result of some heavy partying. . .
I suppose one thing lead to another - the 404 adopted the pink elephant for the patch - I know Dad was in Kodiak - I have a post card of downtown Kodiak from that time period. I suppose others carried on the story of the pink elephant but I really can't say for sure. Sure would like to have a picture if you ever get the chance.
Sincerely, William R. Eubank
Thanks for the quick response. Story I'd heard is that the desert equipment they got even extended to some of the B-24s, which arrived with desert tan paint -- that quickly oxidized to pink. They didn't repaint, but were even proud of the somewhat weird appearance, and the name and the patch came from that.
The quonset painting doesn't look quite like the patch, but they could be related. We've got no scanner here at the Park--would you mind giving me an address to send the photo to? The partying story could be on the money, too. Joe E. Brown, the comedian, visited here at the time and said that Kodiak was the biggest bar he'd ever been in!
Dave Evans, Naturalist, Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park
William Eubank wrote:
June 25, 2000
Thank you for your offer for the picture by mail. Would you mind if I wrote up a little page about the theories and put up the picture along with the patch? I have had actual vets of the 404th along with lots of their children write to me about the site - they really had no idea where and what their Dads did during the war.
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 14:26:54 -0800
From: Kodiak State Parks firstname.lastname@example.org |
Block address Organization: Kodiak State Parks
To: William Eubank email@example.com
Subject: Re: 404th Bomb Group
Thanks for the address. I'll send a couple of photos out this afternoon. I think the page with theories on the 404th "Pink Elephant" name is a great idea, especially if you're able to include the photo from Fort Tidball. Please let me know when/where you've posted it--and especially if anyone comes up with a connection! Fort Tidball was a part of the harbor defenses for North Pacific Fleet headquarters at Womens Bay here on Kodiak. Because it's on a smaller island offshore from Kodiak Island, the old military equipment there hasn't been scavenged or trashed to the extent that it has on the main island. I'm having trouble making a connection between a coastal battery unit and a heavy bomber group...but wouldn't be great if there was something... Dave